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Battle of the Khao Soi


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I see now. This indeed was not part of any of our recipes! But it is a nice idea. Since I have some curry paste left from Pim's recipe, I intend to make khao soi again soon, with beef instead of chicken. I might also try with lamb. And I'll try adding the coconut milk swirl before serving. I suppose it brings extra creaminess and mellows the taste.

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Thank you Austin, Onigiri and Ptipois! All of your dishes look sooo delicious. I've been feeling Asian food deprived since I moved to Paris, but if Ptipois can find all of these great Thai ingredients so can I! I've downloaded Pim's recipes and Austin's directions and I'm so excited about making kao soi for myself.

Now if I can just figure out how to navigate all this in my miniature kitchen with two burners, no oven, two pots and one wok ... :rolleyes:

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I did it! I visited the requisite Asian markets this morning for my supplies and I made the Khao Soi this afternoon. I followed a combination of Austin's and Pim's recipes, but unfortunately I did not succeed in finding all of the ingredients for either of them. I was missing the black cardamom seeds from Austin's recipe and/or the coriander roots from Pim's. Oh well. Here is a picture of what I did manage to find. Not shown is the mortar and pestle that I lugged on and off the metro getting home.

gallery_29603_2517_315469.jpg

I was a little worried early on when I tasted the curry paste coconut cream combination and it was kind of bland and very raw onion-y. It's the first time I've ever made the paste from scratch and apparently it is important to cook it with some oil rather than just dumping it into the liquid. The flavors really came out after this step. I also added fish sauce and a little soy sauce to taste after the chicken was cooked.

Here is a picture of the final product.

gallery_29603_2517_59602.jpg

I'm not really sure what this dish is supposed to taste like since I have never had it before but this version was awesome. I was so happy; as were my husband and a friend who stopped by for a drink and stayed for dinner! I particulary liked the combination of mustard greens with the sweetness of the broth, and the toasted chile condiment.

Thanks so much! I never would have made this heretofore unknown Thai dish if you hadn't posted your experiences. I learned some new techniques and had a really great dinner.

p.s. Here's a gratuitous photo of the treats I picked up for dessert. Black sesame, salted plum, green tea and chocolate macarons. Mmmm...

gallery_29603_2517_149368.jpg

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p.s. Here's a gratuitous photo of the treats I picked up for dessert. Black sesame, salted plum, green tea and chocolate macarons.  Mmmm...

gallery_29603_2517_149368.jpg

Nice tie-in to Asia for dessert. I see you that you stopped in at Sadaharu Aoki's shop. How did you like the maccarons?

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I love Sadaharu's Aoki's pastries in general, and these macarons were no exception (although the black sesame one tasted like salty raspberry jam with cumin which was a little odd). I especially like what he does with the Japanese green tea matcha. We also thought the macarons provided a nice Asia-France link.

Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with the leftover fresh galangal, lemongrass and turmeric. Maybe I'll have to do some searching in the RecipeGullet. Can I freeze any of them?

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Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with the leftover fresh galangal, lemongrass and turmeric.  Maybe I'll have to do some searching in the RecipeGullet.  Can I freeze any of them?

Lemongrass and galangal: Tom Kha Gai. You can definitely freeze the three herbs/roots you mentioned. Kaffir lime leaves and Thai bird chilles can also be frozen and used as needed.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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  • 2 weeks later...
Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with the leftover fresh galangal, lemongrass and turmeric.  Maybe I'll have to do some searching in the RecipeGullet.  Can I freeze any of them?

Lemongrass and galangal: Tom Kha Gai. You can definitely freeze the three herbs/roots you mentioned. Kaffir lime leaves and Thai bird chilles can also be frozen and used as needed.

Thanks for the suggestion sanresho and OnigiriSB. I did make the tom kha gai soup and it was delicious! Another first for me. :biggrin: At the risk of getting a little off-topic... my recipe called for canned straw mushrooms, chicken and cabbage as the soup solids (for lack of a better term). I don't remember having cabbage in tom kha gai. Is this typical? Is it green cabbage? What other additions might one find in tom kha gai in Thailand?

Can someone with knowledge of French translate this page for us all - Google translate does a lousy job at it and I would DEARLY love to try this recipe and combine it with the others on this thread for the true ULTIMATE recipe. :)

http://ptipois.canalblog.com/archives/2006/01/18/index.html

Obviously Ptipois is best qualified to do this translation since she wrote it AND she speaks/writes excellent French and English. I read her description before I started and as I recall she uses a slightly modified version of Pim's recipe for panang curry paste for the curry paste and a similar method to Austin's. If she doesn't turn up I'd be happy to give the translation a go. I'll check back.

I LOVED my khao soi. I definitely recommend using the mustard greens as a condiment. They are such a nice flavour contrast.

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You know, I don't even remember where I got the recipe from now, but it was online, not in a cookbook so the pedigree is obviously questionable. Other than the cabbage it appeared pretty reasonable and the broth tasted like tom kha gai that I have had in Thai restaurants before. I actually didn't add the cabbage since it seemed to weird to me, but I wish there was more in there than just mushrooms and chicken in the broth. Next time I might try to add a vegetable or two, even at the expense of authenticity.

THAI CHICKEN STOCK

SERVES 4 to 6

Active Work Time:10 minutes

* Total Preparation Time:1 hour

Thai chicken stock is the base for Tom Yum Soup

--------------------------------------------------------------

1 Chicken carcass

8 to 10 cups water

3/4 to 1 cup thinly sliced galangal

6 stalks lemon grass - lower thick portion only, pounded

10 kaffir lime leaves

--------------------------------------------------------------

* Place chicken carcass in stockpot

Add water, galangal and lemon grass

Roll lime leaves and crush lightly with hand, then add to pot.

Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Strain.

--------------------------------------------------------------

TOM KHA GAI SOUP

(Coconut Galanga Chicken Soup)

Active Work Time:15 minutes

* Total Preparation Time:15 minutes

--------------------------------------------------------------

4 cups Thai Chicken Stock

2 (3-ounce) Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 (15-ounce) Can straw mushrooms, drained

1 to 3 Roasted Thai chilles

5 Tbsp Fish sauce

3 1/2 Tbsp Lime juice

1 (14-ounce) Can coconut milk (not light)

1 1/2 cups Chopped cabbage

Kaffir (Thai) lime leaves, for garnish

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

--------------------------------------------------------------

* Bring Thai chicken stock to simmer over medium-high heat in large pot.

* Add chicken, mushrooms and chilles and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

* Stir in fish sauce, lime juice and coconut milk. Add chopped cabbage and cook until just tender, about 1 minute.

* Divide among serving bowls and garnish each with 1 to 2 lime leaves and cilantro.

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Obviously Ptipois is best qualified to do this translation since she wrote it AND she speaks/writes excellent French and English.  I read her description before I started and as I recall she uses a slightly modified version of Pim's recipe for panang curry paste for the curry paste and a similar method to Austin's.  If she doesn't turn up I'd be happy to give the translation a go.  I'll check back.

Thank you Mangosteen and Onigiri for saying such nice things about me. Well I speak good French because I am French and I speak English because, uh, I'm not sure :biggrin:

However, translating the whole blog post would be a bit more than I can afford to do with my current schedule, so for now I'll stick to the recipe and I hope I'm giving enough explanation.

First of all, a summary of the preparation is visible (with English comments) at post #31 of this thread.

Basically I've been using Pim's recipe for panaeng curry paste, which is on her blog. Shortly before I got into the competition, she e-mailed me that I could save time and elbow grease by dry-roasting the dried red chillies, seeding them and then grinding them in a coffee-grinder. Which I did. I also dry-roasted and ground the dry spices: white peppercorns, cumin seeds, black cardamom seeds, cloves, cassia, and star anise.

Then I started pounding the same ingredients as in Pim's recipe, but I added some extra ingredients, in order to harmonize with Austin's recipe. Namely the cha ko (black cardamom) and fresh turmeric. The fresh turmeric makes the use of dried turmeric unnecessary.

First turmeric and galangal with salt,

Then I add red chilli powder, makrut zest, lemongrass and coriander roots.

Then garlic and shallots,

Then powdered spices and shrimp paste.

To make the stew: I melted some chunks of dried coconut cream with a little oil in a Dutch oven, then I fried some of the curry paste in it, adding coconut milk three times as it boiled down. Add chicken, stir, add remanining coconut milk (1 litre = total quantity) and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Deep-fry some noodles in wok. Drain on kitchen paper.

Cut up limes, chop reserved shallots, and coriander leaves. Rinse, dry and chop pickled Chinese mustard. Deep-fry a few dried red chillies for a few seconds for garnish. Boil remaining noodles, rinse and drain.

Put some noodles in bowls. Add stew + 1 chicken leg. Then the garnishes and a bit more sauce. Serve. Make sure no one chokes on anything.

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Ptipois - many thanks for taking the time, that is enough for me to work with. :) I will also harmonize the spice and herb mix a bit to be more sympathetic to beef - will try this next weekend and will report back with what I hope will be a definitive version, worthy of enshrining in the fabled halls of eGullet - and posterity.

Unlike others on this thread, I will not debase myself with crude and calumnious language - the results will speak for themselves.

YES - IN YOUR FACE!!!!

err...ok, maybe not, it must be catching. ;)

cheers, JH

Edited by jhirshon (log)
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Hint: you can add an extra swirl of coconut milk to the bowls just before serving, and that extra touch will probably be counted as an additional chance for you to win the contest :wink:

Anyway the nice thing about this contest is that once it's over, you know how to make khao soi for good. And for pleasure!

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Hey, I thought I won this thing ages ago? What's going on here???

Just kidding, it's great to see that Onigiri and I sparked so much interest. A new khao soi place opened recently near my house, I'll be sure to check it out and give you the lowdown. (Although of course it's not going to be as good as mine!)

Austin

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Woohoo! Go Jhirshon! I'm looking forward to seeing your khao soi. Like, mon ami Ptipois, says it's great that you will be able to enjoy khao soi anytime you would like. In fact, I think it's time to make another batch.

*blows a big raspberry at Austin* heh whatevAR!

Yes it's nice that other people want to try khao soi. Who knew there would be so much interest. :) We need to find another obscure Thai dish to introduce to eGullet.

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Woohoo! Go Jhirshon! I'm looking forward to seeing your khao soi. Like, mon ami Ptipois, says it's great that you will be able to enjoy khao soi anytime you would like. In fact, I think it's time to make another batch.

Well, since I've posted the "Bataille du khao soi" on my blog, many of my friends have been asking me to cook at a khao soi party... Which has yet to be organized. This is what you get by playing that sort of game :cool: That could be called one of the side effects of food blogging. Drooling friends are a risk that shouldn't be overlooked.

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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Woohoo! Go Jhirshon! I'm looking forward to seeing your khao soi. Like, mon ami Ptipois, says it's great that you will be able to enjoy khao soi anytime you would like. In fact, I think it's time to make another batch.

Well, since I've posted the "Bataille du khao soi" on my blog, many of my friends have been asking me to cook at a khao soi party... Which has yet to be organized. This is what you get by playing that sort of game :cool: That could be called one of the side effects of food blogging. Drooling friends are a risk that shouldn't be overlooked.

LOL! Maybe Austin and I should have put a warning on this recipe, "Beware may cause need to repeat often and for other people!" :biggrin: Poor Ptipois or poor Ptipois' friends?? You know if you make it and another set of people get addicted (since khao soi is addicting and you can't seem to find decent dishes in thai restaurants abroad) you'll have to make again and again and again. But is that such a bad thing? Good thing you bought that mortar and pestle. :raz:

Mangosteen - I looked at the recipe and will have to try it out and taste it to see what it's like. Looks ok so far except for the cabbage. The only thing I could think is that it's a filler? Usually tom kha gai is served with other dishes so there isn't a feeling of loss for other veggies. :)

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LOL! Maybe Austin and I should have put a warning on this recipe, "Beware may cause need to repeat often and for other people!"  :biggrin: Poor Ptipois or poor Ptipois' friends?? You know if you make it and another set of people get addicted (since khao soi is addicting and you can't seem to find decent dishes in thai restaurants abroad) you'll have to make again and again and again. But is that such a bad thing? Good thing you bought that mortar and pestle.  :raz:

I wouldn't describe my friends as poor if they're going to be fed khao soi. Rather, poor Ptipois, condemned to hard labor. Yes it's a good thing I bought that krok and saak. :smile:

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Wow, and I went and made kao soi without even knowing this thread existed!

Having never had kao soi, I fell madly in love with it during our recent trip to thailand:

currynoodle6ct.jpg

Here's my attempt, freshly made -- and I *did* make my own curry paste. It turned out a bit too thick for my taste.

kaosoi13rg.jpg

I used a recipe by Kasma Loha-unchit, my Thai cooking teacher.

Before putting the leftovers away, I thinned them down with a little extra chicken stock. At breakfast the next morning, it was just like I wanted it.

kaosoi23xb.jpg

(edited for a typo)

Edited by ScorchedPalate (log)

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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YAY! Another person made khao soi. I'm so happy! SP what did you think taste wise? I didn't do Kosma's recipe because I thought it was wierd that it had dark soy sauce in it. I'd be interested in what you thought? Did anyone else try it? If so did they like it too? Will you be trying it again? Good job on making it your first time! :)

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